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Leader Durkin supports assault weapons ban, bashes Democrats

Tuesday, Aug 9, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* WGN

“If people are wondering why we don’t have an assault weapons ban, it’s because the Democrats have dropped the ball. Period,” said Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin.

WGN Investigates found in the past decade, there have been 27 bills submitted that would ban assault-style weapons. However, none have become law and most haven’t even been voted on.

“They’re hypocrites,” Durkin said.

State Representative Durkin is the rare Republican who says he could support a ban. Still, Democrats who hold a supermajority in Springfield and control legislation have buried bills in committees.

“Assault weapons bans, right now they’re all gung ho about it – JB Pritzker, Speaker Welch, the Senate – they’re all heroes after the fact,” Durkin said. “When they had the chamber for the last 12 years and these bills were sitting there introduced, waiting to be called for a hearing, the Democrats refused to bring it up for action.”

* House Speaker Welch’s spokesperson Jaclyn Driscoll…

Leader Durkin voted against an extended waiting period for assault weapons, a ban on bump stocks, red flag awareness, and didn’t vote to ban ghost guns.

Still, the Speaker was encouraged to read in media reports that we can count on the minority leader’s vote when the assault weapons ban goes up on the board. Representative Maura Hirschauer will be reaching out to Leader Durkin and we look forward to him signing on in support of HB5522.

In the meantime, instead of playing political games in the media on such a tragic and sensitive issue, it might be more productive if Durkin spent more time working to build consensus amongst the caucus he’s supposed to be leading.

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17 Comments
  1. - So_Ill - Tuesday, Aug 9, 22 @ 2:21 pm:

    I can’t imagine this stance going over well with the base and rank and file in the GOP.


  2. - Norseman - Tuesday, Aug 9, 22 @ 2:32 pm:

    Like So_Ill, I can’t see the MAGA GOP base as being too keen on his supporting a ban. Will we see a party censure effort against Durkin?


  3. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Aug 9, 22 @ 2:32 pm:

    =I can’t imagine this stance going over well with the base and rank and file in the GOP.=

    It will in his district. Fiscally conservative socially progressive. Western Springs.


  4. - Highland IL - Tuesday, Aug 9, 22 @ 2:36 pm:

    After the primaries does Durkin’s caucus even follow him anymore?


  5. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Aug 9, 22 @ 2:46 pm:

    What part of “shall not be infringed” does the minority leader not understand? /s

    After the primary election results this year, this is a fun position to for ILGOP leadership to take.


  6. - Pundent - Tuesday, Aug 9, 22 @ 3:05 pm:

    =It will in his district.=

    And that might be all that matters. Because I don’t see Durkin leading the caucus once the dust settles.


  7. - Huh? - Tuesday, Aug 9, 22 @ 3:06 pm:

    “State Representative Durkin is the rare Republican who says he could support a ban right up the moment it is time to push the green button.”

    Fixed it for ya.


  8. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Aug 9, 22 @ 3:14 pm:

    If he knows he’s done as caucus leader after November I guess that frees him up to take more votes like this.


  9. - Groucho - Tuesday, Aug 9, 22 @ 3:17 pm:

    Regardless if Durkin supports assault rifle bans or not, this is on the Dems. This type of ban should have already happened.


  10. - TheInvisibleMan - Tuesday, Aug 9, 22 @ 3:34 pm:

    It’s subtle, but the dynamic of this constant “it’s the dems fault” is fascinating.

    Repeat it enough, and a not insignificant number of people are going to start wondering why they should ever vote for republicans at all, if everything they do is so fully controlled by the democrats.

    “No gun ban. We didn’t do anything to prevent it, it’s the dems fault.”

    “Bailey is the candidate for the ILGOP. Also the dems fault our voters chose him.”

    It has a certain rhyme with that other popular ILGOP tactic of working hard to convince all of your voters to move out of the state. At what point does the self-destruction become obvious?


  11. - DuPage Saint - Tuesday, Aug 9, 22 @ 3:36 pm:

    I suppose whether or not he get to lead the 6 or 7 Republicans left doesn’t mean that much to him. An as to that right not being infringed it already is. Supreme Court says reasonable restrictions
    Otherwise see what you can carry into a court room school or government building.


  12. - Dmak NE-IL - Tuesday, Aug 9, 22 @ 3:38 pm:

    The recent Bruen decision made it clear that gun bans will not survive the founding scrutiny test that now must be applied to all laws concerning the second amendment. Any law must have a historic precedent that goes back to the time of ratification. There is no longer a two tiered test in which the state’s needs are to be considered.

    The FOID will soon be gone. AWBs across the nation will soon be gone. This nation is on its way to a full restoration of gun rights from coast to coast. Not even the NFA may survive.


  13. - cover - Tuesday, Aug 9, 22 @ 3:57 pm:

    = AWBs across the nation will soon be gone. =

    I thought there was only one Average White Band, and it was from Scotland /s


  14. - Constitutional Watcher - Tuesday, Aug 9, 22 @ 4:43 pm:

    The Bruen Decision that was recently decided by SCOTUS has shed light on semi-automatic weapons (AWB) being covered by the Second Amendment just like muskets were. Think as a similarity concept the internet being a covered form of free speech.

    My guess is Durkin has decided to not run for leader again. There may be a handful or less members in his caucus that might privately agree with him. After what took place in the primaries very few would publicly stand by his side.


  15. - For the Record - Tuesday, Aug 9, 22 @ 6:00 pm:

    Durkin probably would endorse the ban as long as there was a poison pill in it. Namely swift and immediate restoration of the Death Penalty.


  16. - Joe - Tuesday, Aug 9, 22 @ 9:20 pm:

    Ok, but comments avoid THE Question: Why haven’t the SuperMajority ever called the Bill?


  17. - Olmsted - Tuesday, Aug 9, 22 @ 11:51 pm:

    Thanks Rich for letting us know Durkins position on AR15’s.No more donations for Jim….He will use the money to help Republicans who will support his position on guns..Durkin has to go!


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